Partial-Birth Abortion

NRLC's Comprehensive Library on Partial-Birth Abortion

Media Advisory:  Mainstream news media again subjects Republican pro-life positions to hyper-scrutiny and extrapolation, while ignoring President Obama's positions on current legislation on late abortions and abortion for sex selection - August 20, 2012


National Right to Life applauds U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act - April 18, 2007


L.A. Times:  "The ruling culminates a 12-year campaign by the National Right to Life Committee to outlaw the procedure that its leaders dubbed 'partial birth abortion.'" - April 18, 2007


U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act [PDF] - April 18, 2007


Statement by President Bush on the Supreme Court upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act - April 18, 2007


NRLC's Douglas Johnson on National Review Online: "Is it really a partial birth?" - November 8, 2006


Partial-Birth Abortion Returns to the U.S. Supreme Court - November 7, 2006


Los Angeles Times story highlights NRLC leadership in bringing partial-birth abortion to public attention in 1995 - November 7, 2006


Partial-Birth Abortion Misconceptions and Realities: 

a memo by Douglas Johnson, with links to key documents on the history of the controversy over partial-birth abortion.


The Pain of Partial-Birth Abortion

During the first year after the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was introduced in mid-1995, many opponents of the bill, such as NARAL's Kate Michelman and syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman, insisted that anesthesia given to the mother painlessly kills the babies before they are pulled feet-first from the womb and stabbed through the back of the skull. But in congressional testimony in 1996 -- virtually ignored by the news media -- this myth was emphatically refuted by the heads of the two major professional societies of anesthesiologists. Other experts testified that the babies are alive and fully capable of experiencing great pain during a partial-birth abortion. To learn more about the pain that partial-birth abortion inflicts on pre-mature human babies, and about the "anesthesia myth," click here.


Key Document: Is Partial-birth abortion a 'health' issue?
Click HERE for a collection of links to key documents on medical issues relating to partial-birth abortion. NOTE:  Many of these documents, but not all, require the Adobe Acrobat Reader.


"Life, Death, and Partial-Birth Abortion: One Woman's Story" by Carolyn Johnson - December 5, 2003


U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Review Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act - February 21, 2006


Bush Administration files new legal brief urging U.S. Supreme Court to review lower-court ruling blocking enforcement of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act [PDF]- February, 2006


Ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act conflicts with 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision [PDF]- January 31, 2006


"Partial-Birth Abortion on Trial," by Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq. [PDF] (Human Life Review, Spring 2005)  Read the shocking sworn testimony, in federal court, by those who perform partial-birth abortions.


Eighth Circuit ruling underscores that Supreme Court will decide if partial-birth abortion remains legal - July 8, 2005


Blood Brothers: Why the leading practitioners of late abortion wrote checks to John Kerry - October 2, 2004


Surgical Editing: A Case Study in Pro-Abortion Media Bias - December 23, 2003


Why partial-birth abortions are performed: Letter from NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnston to the Wall Street Journal - November 10, 2003


GLEN MCCOY ©2003 Belleville News-Democrat. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved.

GLEN MCCOY ©2003 Belleville News-Democrat. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved.


National Right to Life Comments on Court Orders and Statement by President Bush - November 6, 2003


President Bush Signs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act - November 5, 2003


NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson challenges Alan Guttmacher Institute's attempt to "forget" its own claims on partial-birth abortion - November 4, 2003


"Partial-Birth Abortion" - You Can Look it Up in the Medical Dictionary! - October 29, 2003


On October 29, 2003, NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson debated Center for Reproductive Rights President Nancy Northup on NPR's nationally broadcast "Diane Rehm Show" on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.  If you have the common RealPlayer software on your computer, you can listen to the program by clicking here.


Statement by President Bush at press conference and NRLC comment - October 28, 2003


UPDATE: Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act: NRLC's Rebuttal to opponents' claims - October 23, 2003


Op-ed by NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson published in USA Today - October 23, 2003


Final language of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (S.3), as approved by both houses of Congress - October 21, 2003 To view or download PDF version, click HERE (requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)


U.S. House gives final approval to Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, but some Democratic senators delay final Senate vote - October 4, 2003


Gannett News Service again disseminates discredited myths - October 3, 2003


National Review: Kathryn Jean Lopez - Partial Truths: The Media Mistell Partial-Birth Abortion Stories - October 2, 2003


Discredited Myths About Partial-Birth Abortion - and Some Journalists Who Won't Let Go of Them - September 6, 2003


Dueling letters from Colorado abortionist Dr. Warren Hern and NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson - Boulder Camera, June 2003


"To the Point"
On June 10, 2003, NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson was a guest on "To the Point," a radio program produced by Public Radio International and KCRW-FM in Los Angeles, which is broadcast on a number of radio stations around the nation, concerning the implications of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The other guests -- all supporters of Roe v. Wade -- were Planned Parenthood of America President Gloria Feldt, Prof. Jeffrey Rosen, Prof. David Garrow, and Prof. George Lakoff.  Hear the 40-minute audio recording by clicking here. (requires RealPlayer)



Revived media myths about Roe v. Wade: An important and timely memo for journalists and policymakers - February 14, 2003  To view in PDF, click HERE.


Official White House policy statement on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (H.R. 760) - June 4, 2003


NRLC letter to the U.S. House of Representatives against Hoyer-Greenwood phony ban and in support of H.R. 760 [PDF] - June 2, 2003


Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Passes U.S. Senate; Pro-Life Forces in House Work to Defeat "Phony Ban" - April 5, 2003



Official report of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act [PDF] - April 3, 2003


New York Times: On partial-birth abortion, both sides look to the Supreme Court - March 17, 2003


Senators Daschle and Johnson voted to allow third-trimester abortions based on claims of emotion "health" by voting for Feinstein Substitute [PDF] - March 14, 2003


U.S. Senate Passes Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion, But 33 Senators Voted Against the Ban, Saying Roe v. Wade Protects Partial-Birth Abortion - March 13, 2003


White House statement on Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and hostile amendments [PDF] - March 10, 2003



Key Facts on Partial-Birth Abortion - February 14, 2003


President Bush calls for enactment of Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in State of the Union address - January 28, 2003


To read or hear what the nurse, Brenda Pratt Shafer, saw during a partial-birth abortion, click HERE


Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wi.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, draws the attention of reporters to a medical drawing of a partial-birth abortion, during a press conference on Capitol Hill to announce the reintroduction of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act on February 13, 2003. NRLC photo by Patricia Coll.

Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wi.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, draws the attention of reporters to a medical drawing of a partial-birth abortion, during a press conference on Capitol Hill to announce the reintroduction of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act on February 13, 2003.
NRLC photo by Patricia Coll.


Guttmacher Survey of Abortion Providers Finds Reported Number of Partial-Birth Abortions More Than Tripled - January 14, 2003


Senators, NRLC Assail Senate Democratic Leadership for Smothering Bill to Ban Partial-Birth Abortion - October 3, 2002


After Approval by House, Fate of Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Rests With Senate Democratic Leadership - August 6, 2002


White House statement in support of Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act [PDF] - July 23, 2002


Pro-Life Lawmakers and NRLC Launch New Effort to Ban Partial-Birth Abortion - July 7, 2002


Media Myths About Partial-Birth Abortion: NRLC Letter Published in the Wall Street Journal - May 14, 2001


NRLC Press Release on Supreme Court Ruling on Nebraska Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion - June 28, 2000


Supreme Court Decision and Dissents in Stenberg v. Carhart - June 28, 2000


Lawmakers Back Away from House Vote on Roe v. Wade - May 25, 2000


Pro-Abortion U.S. House leaders admit their bill would allow third-trimester abortions for "mental health" - March 16, 2000


I'm Not Answering These Questions - October 20, 1999


Partial-Birth Abortion Diagrams


What's wrong with the Hoyer-Greenwood bill (H.R. 809)? Letter from NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson published in the Washington Times [PDF] - August 17, 1998


"Partial Truth" by Matthew Scully. From National Review - an examination of how the news media gullibly adopted pro-abortion propaganda regarding partial-birth abortion [PDF] - June 22, 1998


The Daschle 'Late-Term Abortion' Bill": four loopholes big enough to drive a scissors through: NRLC Ad in Capitol Hill publications opposing the Daschle "phony ban" [PDF] - early 1997


"Call it Partial-Birth Abortion - It's the Law!" [PDF] - NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson explains why the term "partial-birth abortion" is accurate and is the ONLY legally correct term for what the bill bans - and why pro-abortion groups hate the term - June 19, 1997


Letter from the American Medical Association endorsing the 1997 version of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act [PDF] - The AMA did not endorse the legislation in later years because it decided it would not support abortion bills with criminal penalties, but the organization never contradicted the factual statements made in this letter that partial-birth abortion "is not good medicine" and "not medically indicated" - May 19, 1997


Under the legal doctrine of Roe v. Wade, it's not what you are, it's where you are. For over 12 weeks, one baby girl was a legal protected "person," but her TWIN SISTER was not. Read about it here. [PDF] - April 2, 1997



Testimony of Douglas Johnson, NRLC Legislative Director on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (HR 929, S.6) - March 11, 1997

What is at State in the Partial-Birth Abortion Debate: Douglas Johnson's Opening Statement to a Joint Congressional Hearing - March 11, 1997


U.S. News & World Report columnist John Leo shows how the truth about partial-birth abortion was deliberately concealed [PDF] - March 10, 1997


American Medical News: "Abortion rights leader urges end to "half truths" (on partial-birth abortion) [PDF] - March 3, 1997



The Record (Bergan, NJ): "Abortion: Activists Lied" [PDF] - February 27, 1997


Roll Call: "Partial-Birth Betrayal: Democrats Seething as Activist Admits Lie" [PDF] - February 27, 1997



New York Times: An Abortion Rights Activist Says He Lied About Abortion Procedure [PDF] - February 26, 1997


Misinformation on National Abortion Federation website as of February 25, 1997 [PDF]


The pro-abortion misinformation campaign on partial-birth abortion collapses: NRLC paper to media on reports by American Medical News and PBS Media Matters on how pro-abortion groups misled the news media and the public about partial-birth abortion [PDF] - February 26, 1997


PBS Media Matters: Transcript of 20-minute report in which PBS examined how the major news media gullibly accepted and transmitted pro-abortion misinformation on partial-birth abortion in 1996 and 1996 [BROKEN LINK] - January 1997


Letter from professors of obstetrics in the Physicians' Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT) to the president of the executive board of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) challenged a statement issued by ACOG on partial-birth abortion [PDF] - January 29, 1997


What What He's Doing, Not What He Says: How President Clinton is "Having it Both Ways" on Partial-Birth Abortion, 1997


Leaked memo written by Democratic political pollster Celinda Lake, "Position on so-called 'partial-birth' abortion," advising her clients, pro-abortion members of Congress, on how to "frame" the issue [PDF] - September 17, 1996


Why Are Partial-Birth Abortions Performed? - late 1996


American Medical News: "The View from Mount Koop." - Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop says partial-birth abortion is never a medical necessity for the mother [ PDF] - August 19, 1996


"Frequently Asked Questions on Partial-Birth Abortion," by NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson - September 11, 1996

Note: This material is still useful, but some of it can be found presented with more current information in Mr. Johnson's testimony before a joint hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and U.S. House Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee in March 1997.


CBS 60 Minutes on Partial-Birth Abortions: A Critique, by Douglas Johnson - June 10, 1996


Euthanasia of partly born humans: Why some partial-birth abortions are performed in the third trimester - April 1996


What the Nurse Saw... 1995


American Medical News: Candid answers from Dr. Warren Hern and other abortionists on partial-birth abortion [PDF] - November 20, 1995


Letter from NARAL, PPFA, NAF, AGI, and dozens of other pro-abortion organizations, misinforming Congress that partial-birth ("D&X") abortions are "fewer than 500 per year" and performed mostly in medically acute circumstances [PDF] - October 2, 1995


How pro-abortion lawmakers tried to smear the nurse who testified about what she witnessed at a partial-birth abortion - and how they were refuted [PDF] - October 1995

To hear or read what nurse Brenda Pratt Shafer saw during a partial-birth abortion, click here.


Letter from eminent medical authority Prof. Watson Bowes of the University of North Carolina addressing various disputed issues regarding partial-birth abortion [PDF] - July 11, 1995


Which side told the truth? [PDF]

Which side told the truth about partial-birth abortion? Read the very first - and very accurate - factsheet that NRLC sent to journalists about the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, on June 21, 1995


Congressman Charles (R-Fl.), author of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, refutes disinformation by the National Abortion Federation - June 14, 1995


American Medical News: "Shock-tactic ads target late-term abortion procedure," reporting on groundbreaking interviews with partial-birth abortionists Dr. James McMahon and Dr. Martin Haskell - July 5, 1993

File also includes a letter and interview transcript provided to the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution [PDF] - July 11, 1995 [BROKEN LINK]


Partial-birth abortionist Martin Haskell, M.D., interviewed in Cincinnati Medicine [PDF] - Fall 1993


Letter from eminent medical authority Prof. Watson Bowes affirming that babies are alive during most of the the partial-birth abortion procedure - May 17, 1993


Letter from eminent medical authority Prof. Watson Bowes affirming that the line drawings of the partial-birth abortion procedure are accurate - April 27, 1993



An instructional paper by Ohio abortionist Martin Haskell, explaining step-by-step how a partial-birth abortion is performed - September 1992